The Chelsea legend had one-year to run on his contract with Tianjin Teda before he quit the club.
‘’I look at my time in China as an experience — it wasn’t bad,’’ Mikel said. “Everyone was so nice but sometimes you miss home and that’s what I did. I missed home and wanted to come back.’’
Mikel has easily settled into life at promotion-chasing Middlesbrough, starting their last two games in the Championship, including their 1-1 draw against Leeds United when he went the distance.
The versatile midfielder won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, League Cup, Community Shield, Champions League and Europa League during his first spell in England with Chelsea.
‘’I’ve been there and won many trophies and I want to try to instill that in this team. ‘’For me it’s about talking to the players on the pitch, encouraging the young ones, keeping a clean sheet and building from there.
‘’I’ve only been here two weeks but I’m really enjoying it. It feels a bit like Chelsea for me when you walk in,’’ Mikel added.